CWAG Roundup

 January 14, 2016



Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and CWAG are proud to announce a Digital Currency Symposium open to all government and private sector attendees at the Montage Deer Valley in Park City, UT on February 4-5.  We encourage all interested parties to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with State Attorneys General to learn about and discuss important issues regarding the digital economy. The Digital Currncy Symposium will work to foster relationships with responsible industry players, law enforcement officials and regulators to share information and exchange ideas which will assist policy makers in the development of appropriate regulations and legislation.
The agenda for this meeting is under construction.  Within the next week a draft agenda will be available.  Suggestions, questions or comments can be directed to CWAG Legal Director Chris Coppin, [email protected], or 505.589.5101. The agenda will be distributed to CWAG Roundup recipients or is available upon request from CWAG.            
Space and attendance are limited.  We have had a great response and are still accepting registrations for the symposium however our room block is currently full.  The following link contains a large list of hotels to choose from in Park City - contact CWAG Meeting Planner Janine Knudsen, [email protected], or 916.704.1057 if you have any questions or to register for the symposium.
CWAG is supporting the Government Identity Fraud Conference as a nonprofit partner. Identity fraud perpetrated against government programs is on the rise. For instance, in 2015, more than 34 million government/military records (e.g., name, Social Security Number, email address, medical records, etc.) were compromised through data breaches, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. At this conference, you'll hear solutions to this problem - from government and law enforcement. You'll also hear first-hand accounts from identity fraud victims as they discuss what they have been through and what it takes to begin to reclaim their identities and their lives. If your jurisdiction has been impacted by government identity fraud, you cannot afford to miss this important conference. Learn more and register by January 15 at to secure the early bird conference registration fee and the room block rate.
Teresa (Terry) Jennings has been named as Head of Rule of Law Development for LexisNexis. In this new role, Terry will be responsible for developing relationships with outside parties (including, specifically, funding and governmental bodies) to produce, develop and advance Rule of Law projects around the world in conjunction with the various business units. In addition, her role will include establishing global processes for executing and evaluating projects efficiently and liaising with the business to ensure projects align to international funding body requirements. Terry has been active with state Attorneys General groups for more than two decades and has collaborated with her LexisNexis colleagues and state AGs to support the Rule of Law across the United States and the rest of the world.
The Internet Association announced the addition of Dusty Brighton, who joins the organization as the Vice President of State Government Affairs. Brighton's efforts will focus on advocating for pro-Internet policies at the state and local levels across the country. "Dusty will be a major asset for the organization as we expand our state government affairs program to all 50 states and represent our member companies across all levels of government," said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. "Our success advocating at the state level in California has helped us develop an excellent blueprint for creating a meaningful impact in state capitals from coast to coast. We look forward to continuing our work across the country on behalf of Internet companies and the users they serve."
The Oregon Attorney General must now be notified when there has been a consumer data breach involving more than 250 Oregonians. The new law, which went into effect January 1, 2016, requires businesses and government agencies to notify the Oregon Attorney General's office when the personal data of at least 250 Oregonians has been compromised. "The sheer amount of data that is collected and stored every day can be a treasure trove to the wrong person," said CWAG Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. "This law sees to it that when sensitive health or financial information is breached, the Attorney General and consumers are notified and can search our website to determine whether a business or agency has properly reported a data breach. A big thank you to the 2015 Oregon Legislature for passing this important consumer law."
Victims of human trafficking often go unnoticed and the crime unreported, despite interactions with various types of healthcare providers. In an effort to build awareness of human trafficking among prosecutors, investigators, and Utah's health care community, the Utah Attorney General's Human Trafficking Task Force will host two focus groups involving healthcare providers and human trafficking survivors on January 27, 2016. The Utah focus group session results will add Utah statistics to a national study underway that will support policy and program recommendations for healthcare providers to enhance their roles as identifiers of trafficking victims. Additionally, CWAGAttorney General Sean Reyes, the Office of the Utah Attorney General's Human Trafficking Task Force and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) plan to host a tuition-free, one and one-half day training for prosecutors and investigators on human trafficking. This training will take place on January 28 and 29 in Salt Lake City.
A landmark study by the Environmental Protection Agency that concluded fracking causes no widespread harm to drinking water is coming under fire, this time, from the agency's own science advisers. The EPA's preliminary findings released in June were seen as a vindication of the method used to unlock oil and gas from dense underground rock. A repudiation of the results could reignite the debate over the need for more regulation. Members of the EPA Science Advisory Board, which reviews major studies by the agency, says the main conclusion - that there's no evidence fracking has led to "widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water" - requires clarification, David Dzombak, a Carnegie Mellon University environmental engineering professor leading the review, said in an e-mail.
Breaking from its industry rivals, Campbell Soup will become the first major food company to begin disclosing the presence of genetically engineered ingredients like corn, soy and sugar beets in its products. The company, the maker of brands like Pepperidge Farm, Prego, Plum Organics and V8 in addition to its namesake soups, is taking the unusual step - and possibly risking sales by alienating consumers averse to genetically modified organisms - as big food corporations face increasing pressure to be more open about their use of such ingredients. Food companies have begun printing labels to comply with a new labeling law in Vermont, which has become a battleground over labeling that other states have been watching closely. Beginning in July, Vermont will require disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients, a measure opposed by most major food companies, which are seeking to supersede any state's legislation with a voluntary federal solution.
Despite ongoing uncertainty nationwide and unanswered legal questions at the state level, California became the first state to pass a bill regulating daily fantasy sports through a committee hearing, handing the industry an important, preliminary victory in its fight to stay afloat in the crucial state. The California Committee on Governmental Organization passed committee chairman Adam Gray's bill (AB 1437) with a landslide vote, as 17 committee members voted in favor and only one - noted opponent of daily fantasy, Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) - voted against. The bill will now go to the appropriations committee for review. In his opening statement to the committee Wednesday, Gray (D-Merced) said his bill would provide California with "a first-in-the-nation framework" for daily fantasy, putting in place regulatory measures to protect consumers from the billion-dollar industry in a state with more than 400,000 active users.
A Manhattan appeals court ruled that the daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings can operate in New York pending a legal challenge by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who said they promote unlawful gambling. Joshua Schiller, an attorney for DraftKings, said his client and competitor FanDuel will remain open for business until a full decision from Manhattan's Appellate Division, likely next fall. FanDuel shut down last year after General Schneiderman sent a cease-and-desist letter to the companies. DraftKings remained open with the permission of the Appellate Division.
CWAG Attorney General Lawrence Wasden of Idaho has reached a settlement with the companies that manufacture and market 5-hour Energy products. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by General Wasden alleging Living Essentials, LLC, and Innovation Ventures, LLC, misrepresented their energy shot products, including whether consumers experience a "crash" after consumption and claims the products are recommended by doctors. Living Essentials and Innovation Ventures deny any violations of Idaho law. Under terms of the agreement, the companies will not represent that 5-hour Energy products have sponsorships, benefits or ingredients they don't have. "Ensuring companies make accurate statements about their products is important to consumers and the marketplace," General Wasden said. "I'm pleased that we were able to reach a resolution of this case."
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona announced his office filed a Consumer Fraud Lawsuit against the Arizona firearms retailer accused of scamming gun owners out of thousands of dollars. The complaint alleges Black Weapons Armory and its owner John Thomas Rompel Jr. took payments for firearms and failed to deliver those firearms to consumers. "Arizonans have a right to bear arms, but this gun store collected money and left its customer's arms bare," said General Brnovich.  "Consumers trusted this business to deliver the goods and services they purchased. Our intent in filing this lawsuit is to help these consumers get their hard-earned money back." In January 2015, the Attorney General's Office began to receive complaints from consumers after Black Weapons Armory in Tucson shut down. Fifteen consumers filed complaints with the Attorney General's Office alleging they paid Black Weapons for firearms that were never ordered or received.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Pam Bondi's Office of Statewide Prosecution announced a 30 year prison sentence, followed consecutively by 30 years of probation, against Dr. Jacinta Irene Gillis, a pill mill clinic operator. In 2011, the collaborative efforts of Attorney General Bondi's Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Lee County Sheriff's Office and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office led to Gillis' arrest and the closure of her clinics. Gillis, 41, of Fort Myers, operated two pill mill clinics, one in Pinellas County and one in Lee County, where she saw between 50 and 70 patients a day. In a two-year period, Gillis issued more than 33,000 prescriptions and more than 2.6 million pills of oxycodone, profiting more than $1.3 million. Gillis, in turn, used the money to fund her lifestyle including purchasing a house and multiple cars, as well as hosting lavish parties.
A travel club that promised members great savings on trips but failed to deliver is now banned from face-to-face sales in the state for three years and must pay refunds, CWAG Associate Attorney General Roy Cooper of North Carolina said. "People who wanted affordable family vacations instead got stuck with a costly travel club membership that they could hardly even use, and they deserve better," General Cooper said.  Under a settlement with General Cooper's office, Festiva Development Group of Nevada will pay $286,144 for consumer refunds and reform the way it markets travel club memberships in North Carolina, including being banned from marketing in person in the state for three years.
Chris Coppin
Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
505-589-5101 (cell)
817-615-9335 (fax)

Conference of Western Attorneys General | 1300 I Street | Sacramento | CA | 95814